My son Tom found my favorite cold cereal at a shop in his Beijing neighborhood, but after eating a Chinese breakfast with him around the corner, there’s not a chance of my eating cereal while I’m here. (Though Tom often does eat oatmeal, not wanting to risk splashing soup or chili oil on his tie.)
The food is cooked outside and many people take away bags of jiaozi and baozi and fried dough, but we sat inside. I had tofu soup, one of my favorite things. The weather is wonderful, after more rain, and it’s nice to be in a regular Chinese neighborhood.
We walked through a market and saw a tray of grubs for sale. They were wriggling, breaking through their shells, and one had finished moulting and flown to the edge of the tray. I was dying to find out what they were and how they are prepared but Tom thought it was the grossest thing he’d ever seen.
He was rushing to work, anyhow, and didn’t want to get caught up in a conversation with the stall owner. “You have five more days, Mom, we’ll come back.”
Here’s a recipe I adapted to make Tofu Nao at home in Great Barrington. Mine looks a lot fancier but the soup in Beijing tasted better.